depression (noun): feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
dejection (noun): a sad and depressed state; low spirits.
anxious (adj): experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
These things.. those definitions… they aren’t what defines any one being at any one time. There can be euphoric highs and suicidal lows. They switch back and forth just as fluid as the tide that pulls away or floods in.
That is what my life was.
Countless times driving down the road I wanted to swerve into oncoming traffic hoping that it would help me escape my thoughts. Nothing triggered them, they were just there, holding onto my mind and latching on like a parasite. They wouldn’t leave. No matter the medication or the dosage, I felt unworthy of living and the medication didn’t make me feel alive. Living with something that you aren’t sure how to control isn’t easy. It comes with its own set of rules of which you have to carefully figure out without ending up on one polar end of the spectrum of your current state.
I was on SSRI’s for a while (citalopram). One of my college roommates happened to be on the same drug but a slightly different dose for her anxiety. It was interesting to see that the drug was working well for her but making me, undeniably, a completely different person. I was numb. I would act out. I didn’t feel like me. I felt lost in limbo and I couldn’t figure out how to get back to the old me… however horrible it was. I was physically aggressive and verbally manipulative. I wasn’t me and it was pretty clear for me to notice that although I’m not sure how others viewed it. I wasn’t who or what I wanted to be.
One night I acted out and ended up punching my now husband pretty hard. Immediately I knew I did something terrible. It was only for a split second that I felt like the old me but it was immediately followed up with terrible grief and remorse. I knew that if I wasn’t on these medications that I would be able to control myself and my actions more. I went home for a long weekend, saw the doctor, she upped my dose (which isn’t what I needed) and after trying the new dose for a month or two, the only change that I saw was that it made me feel even less alive. I decided then to quit taking my medication and figure out a way to better cope with my issues.
The last few years that I’ve been trying to find a coping mechanism for my depression is when I began to hike more and take more time for myself… that definitely helped. Self care is a very real thing and if you don’t do it often enough you begin to lose yourself and feel as if you’re losing control of everything. That was always what happened to me.
Through hiking and being alone on most of those hikes I was able to evaluate myself and actually begin to heal from a lot of internal trauma that I was holding within me (that will be talked about on a future post).
Life isn’t easy, it never will be, it will never quite work out the way you want it to.. but when everything falls in line, it’ll be like never before.